As you make your way around, you'll find a mix of buildings -- modern ones, along with traditional adobes, and 100-year-old structures made from red carved sandstone. The Old Zuni Mission (Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission), on Old Mission Drive (tel. 505/782-7238), was first built in 1629, then destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt, and rebuilt in 1699. It was renovated in 1966, but currently is in need of a major restoration. It's most famed for life-size murals of Katsinas by Zuni Alex Seowtewa, which are now at the center of controversy over how to restore them. It's fronted by a picturesque cemetery. Contact the number above to see if a tour of the interior is available.
In addition, some Native American archaeological ruins on Zuni land date from the early 1200s, but you must obtain permission from the Visitor Center to see them. The A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, 1222 NM 53 (tel. 505/782-4403), offers a glimpse into traditional Zuni culture. An exhibit under the auspices of the museum, "Echoes from the Past," set in a building in the heart of Zuni, presents artifacts from Hawikuh (on loan from the Smithsonian Institute). The main museum is open weekdays, year-round, from 9am to 5:30pm (same hours on Sat during the summer). Admission is free. Call first to be sure it is open and to ask for directions.
Today, Zuni tribal members are widely acclaimed for their jewelry, made from turquoise, shell, and jet, set in silver in intricate patterns called "needlepoint." The tribe also does fine beadwork, carving in shell and stone, and some pottery. Jewelry and other crafts are sold at the tribally owned Pueblo of Zuni Arts and Crafts, 1222 NM 53 (tel. 505/782-5531). Look especially for the hand-carved fetishes as well as the acclaimed needlepoint jewelry. At this writing, it is open only weekdays from 9am to 5pm.
If you're planning your visit for late August, call ahead and find out if you're going to be around during the pueblo's annual fair and rodeo.
Navajo Indian Reservation
Attractions in Window Rock, Arizona, include the Navajo Nation Council Chambers; the Navajo Nation Arts and Crafts Enterprise; the Navajo Museum, Library, and Visitors Center; and Window Rock Tribal Park, containing the natural red-rock arch after which the community is named.
Nearby attractions include Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site (tel. 928/755-3254; www.nps.gov/hutr), on Arizona 264, a half mile west of AZ 191, at Ganado, 30 miles west of Window Rock, and Canyon de Chelly National Monument (tel. 928/674-5500), 39 miles north of Ganado on U.S. 191, at Chinle.
In early September, the annual 5-day Navajo Nation Fair (tel. 928/871-6478; www.navajonationfair.com) attracts more than 100,000 people to Window Rock for a huge rodeo, parade, carnival, Miss Navajo Nation contest, arts-and-crafts shows, intertribal powwow, concerts, country dancing, and agricultural exhibits. It's the country's largest Native American fair. A smaller but older and more traditional annual tribal fair is the early October Northern Navajo Nation Fair (tel. 505/368-1315), held 90 miles north of Gallup in the town of Shiprock.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.